Special Commission Meeting Called Over Chamber Flap

1:00 p.m. — Thursday, February 11, 2021

by Anne Mooney / February 9, 2021

After cancelling the February 10 regular Commission meeting, because there would not be a three-member quorum physically present, a Special Meeting of the Commission has been scheduled for Thursday, February 11 at 1:00 pm at the WP Community Center at 721 New England Avenue. Virtual meeting attendance is also available by clicking https://cityofwinterpark.org/government/live-broadcasts/

This will be a Special Commission meeting. Commissioners can vote to take action, and public comment will be taken.

The Commission will discuss events from the February 5 debate between mayoral candidates at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce and whether to take action.

Loaded Question

At issue is the final debate question posed to the candidates, in which Commissioners were accused of collusion:

“It was dismaying to see the members of the city commission blatantly colluding to spike the Henderson project, which was approved by P&Z [Planning & Zoning] and was supported by the residents of Winter Park three to one over those opposing the project. As mayor, how would you ensure the commission enacts the wishes of the majority of WP residents, not just the agenda of an entitled few?”

Mayoral candidate Mayor Phil Anderson expressed his own dismay at the content of the question and stated his objection to the decision to air the question to Chamber President Betsy Gardner Eckbert.

After a brief burst of social media activity, each with its own version of events, the Anderson campaign and the WP Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors issued the following joint statement.

Joint statement issued by WP Chamber and Anderson Campaign

“Following an unfortunate incident at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Mayoral Candidate Forum this past Friday, The Chamber and Phil Anderson’s campaign have come to terms with the matter and look forward to placing it behind us in an effort to bring our community together. The Chamber thanks Mr. Anderson and Ms. Sprinkel, the two mayoral candidates, for participating in the Forum.”

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